Rainforest Alliance enhances global Cocoa Certification Programme

The Rainforest Alliance environmental organisation is strengthening its key Cocoa Certification Programme, delivering a major global initiative to drive more sustainable cocoa farming.

These new measures mark the first stage of the group’s enhanced certification program for all sectors which will be published in June 2020 and rolled out in the subsequent 12 months.

These upgrades reflect Rainforest Alliance’s continued commitment toward improving the economical, social and environmental conditions of the cocoa industry, by addressing its core challenges of farmer livelihoods, child labour and deforestation.

“We are proud to announce a significantly stronger program that paves the way for Rainforest Alliance to reimagine certification on a broad scale,” said Alex Morgan, chief markets officer at the Rainforest Alliance.

“We are confident that these improvements will go a long way in building more comprehensive interventions to help address child labor, improve the lives of farmers, and further curtail the environmental impact. To be clear, our work is not done; nor can we do this alone. It is critical that all participants in the cocoa industry – producers, companies, governments, NGOs, and others – take a more active and permanent role in tackling these issues. Rainforest Alliance will remain vigilant and continue to develop approaches that drive impact through a stronger and more sustainable approach.”

The Rainforest Alliance’s strengthened cocoa certification program includes stricter audit rules and enhanced traceability and performance monitoring systems. In order to drive supply chain accountability, the improved certification program also features clear metrics on shared responsibility.

This announcement follows two-years of comprehensive analysis on the evolution of Rainforest Alliance’s entire certification process. This analysis identified ongoing challenges in the cocoa sector and helped develop viable approaches. For example, the Rainforest Alliance has committed to invest more than $2 million in improving the approach to assurance and transparency and will launch a new $5 million Cocoa Sector Transformation Fund to support more sustainable cocoa farming in West and Central Africa.

Further details of these new measures can be found on the company’s website.  

Photo Credit: Rainforest Alliance, Press Trip, Costa Rica, March 2016.

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